I recently got an iPad as well as a Kindle, and now carry roughly 60 digital books around in my handbag at all times. The upshot of this is that I’ve spent far more on books in the last two months than I have in the past two years. I’m reading an awful lot more than any time since my degree. If someone recommends a book, I can start reading it the second we finish our coffee.
Now, instead of feeling guilty about not reading, I’m feeling guilty about what I’m reading. For full disclosure, my degree was in English Literature, so three full years of my life were devoted to reading fiction, the theory of fiction and the political, social and historical background of that fiction. But now, whenever I start reading a novel, I panic. I think about all the books I’m not reading. How little I know about economics. That everyone knows more about the Middle East than I do. How I might come across as less of a pillock if I read more Chomsky. I think a lot of this is to do with growing up, and realising how little I know, and identifying gaps in my knowledge. This article sums up a lot of my fears. But it still niggles. I asked Twitter, and my followers are always super-erudite. Here are some responses, storifyed.
And a few here: